Former CSULB President and U.S. Congressman Steve Horn passed away at his home in Long Beach on Feb. 17 due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 79.
Horn served as CSULB’s third president from 1970-88, and his tenure proved to be a time of tremendous growth for the university in academic programs and services as well as physical facilities.
“We at Cal State Long Beach were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Horn, who served the campus for more than 30 years, first as president for 18 of those years and then as a member of Congress,” CSULB President F. King Alexander said in a statement. “Our campus benefited greatly from his leadership and vision.
“Steve was responsible for establishing many programs that set the campus apart in terms of how students and the community were served. Programs focusing on faculty development, student learning assistance, disabled student services, child development and educational opportunities for senior citizens; all were established during his presidency,” the president added. “Cal State Long Beach is a stronger university for Steve Horn’s leadership. Our deepest condolences are extended to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Horn was so greatly respected that his fellow college presidents elected him chairman of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in 1985. A year later, he was cited as one of the 100 most effective college presidents in the country.
Horn was also extremely active in the community. Among many positions, he was a founding member and secretary of the Long Beach Economic Development Corporation and the Long Beach Economic Development Commission (the two groups that began the economic renaissance of Long Beach in the 1970s), and vice chair of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Following his presidency, Horn stayed on as a professor of political science at CSULB. Then in 1993, he found a different way to serve the greater Long Beach community when he was elected to Congress as a moderate Republican representing the 38th Congressional District. He was re-elected another four times, eventually spending 10 years as Long Beach’s representative until 2003.
During his time in Congress, Horn chaired the Subcommittee on Government Management of the Committee on Government Reform. Known for his bipartisan approach to issues, he focused on balancing the budget; reforming campaign finance; and increasing funding for the arts, humanities, sciences, and a variety of projects that benefited district constituents. When he stepped down in 2003, the university recognized the unflagging support of Horn and his wife by establishing the Steve and Nini Horn Center.
Horn was born on May 31, 1931 and raised in San Juan Bautista, Calif. He received his B.A. degree from Stanford University in 1953, his master of public administration from Harvard in 1955, and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1958. He was married for 57 years to Nini Moore Horn. They have two children, Marcia and Steve Horn, Jr., and one grandson, Jonathan.
A public celebration of Horn’s life took place on the CSULB campus April 30.